My Caution May Have Cost Us Our Trip To See Pandora!!

Yesterday, something amazing happened. An offer appeared through the British Airways shopping portal to get 150 British Airways Avios (their miles currency) per dollar spent on a subscription. If you're not a travel hacking super fan, you're wondering WTF this has to do with anything. I'm a happily married American, why would I buy a subscription to get miles on British Airways?

British Airways Avios Can Be Redeemed for American Airlines Flights, Sometimes At Excellent Rates!

British Airways and American Airlines are partners through the OneWorld Alliance, which means you can use Avios to book American Airlines flights (even ones that don't go to or from the UK). In particular, I wanted to go to Walt Disney World to see Pandora in June. Doing a search for availability, I see that we could have done the weekend of June 23 round-trip for two for 30,000 Avios and $22.40.

I wouldn't be buying a membership, I'd be buying Avios at a fantastic rate!

The point of the membership isn't to get any value out of the actual membership at all. The point is just to buy the membership for the Avios! For a 12-month membership, I would have gotten just over 30,000 Avios for $203.88. That means my roundtrip flight would have come to $226.28 for two people. I'd cancel my membership at some point (with no need to ever use it).

I failed to heed my own advice, and now we'll probably skip the trip.

I've been eying this June trip to Walt Disney World for some time now, but I haven't been able to get flight prices I like. As our loyal reader knows, I'll pay for a deluxe hotel room, but I don't like paying more than $150 per person round trip for a flight. I never looked at using miles on this trip before because right now I value my Chase Ultimate Rewards points more than I'd get out of transferring them to Avios.

Now, the deal is dead. It was so good that the travel hackers killed it within hours. I don't have my cheap 30,000 Avios, and we probably will just wind up skipping that June trip we dreamed about. This was a failure to think outside the box and to connect the deal to my own trip plans. It didn't escape me that I might want the Avios for future WDW travel, or for other trips I am currently planning. I just failed to realize I had a trip already settled upon where I could have had big savings. Maybe my mistake wasn't keeping an open enough mind, or maybe it was simply failing to jump on an amazing deal as soon as it appeared. Either way, Emily and I are the losers on this one.

HT to OMAAT, Frequent Miler, and View from the Wing for great coverage of this.